Confessions of a credit card fraudster

Posted on February 02nd, 2007

It was ‘the easiest thing ever’.

Fraudsters turn to credit card crime because it’s ‘easy’ given that many retail websites fail to take sufficient precautions to protect themselves from abuse.

Speaking at this week’s Retail Business Show, a man who committed ‘card not present’ fraud said this type of criminal behaviour is ‘the easiest thing ever’. The man, known only as ‘T’, targeted websites that required few details. If a website proved tricky to con, ‘T’ rarely tried again. He said if retailers put in the effort to protect their websites (*), they are less likely to be targeted.

Professor Martin Gill, a professor of criminology at Leicester University who interviewed ‘T’ at the event, said of fraudsters: ‘They exploit the opportunities and are very, very good.’

Gill has worked with several convicted fraudsters to understand their motivation and methods.

‘T’ was once contacted by a bank regarding unusual credit card activity on a card he was using fraudulently but simply pretended to be the cardholder and accounted for the money spent to satisfy the query.

To get around the problem of having goods delivered to the cardholder’s address, ‘T’ would simply persuade delivery companies to take goods to other locations. For instance, he convinced a company to deliver car parts to a garage where they would be used instead of the cardholder’s address by saying this was more convenient. ‘T’ said he obtained credit card details through contacts working in call centres or for retailers, who would provide details for a small fee. Shortly before his arrest he was offered around 10,000 sampler details which he believed had been sourced from India.

Last October a Channel 4 documentary revealed that UK credit card and passport details are available for purchase from several Indian call centres.

(*): QFinger SDK could be used for this purpose.